Sunday, October 08, 2006

Telegraph: Tory bedblockers set to frustrate Cameron's A-List

The Sunday Torygraph has an amusing contrast today. On the frontpage it screams about Cameron's surging lead over Labour in general and Gordon Brown in particular. Then, much more interestingly, on page two it talks about a plot by ageing (well, 60s and 70s) Tory MPs not to stand down from their seats.

The failure of scores of Conservative MPs to resign means that Cameron's A-Listers may (shock of shocks) have to fight and win marginal seats off Labour and the LibDems instead of being parachuted in safe seats. Now I know that some A-Listers have, shall we say, limited campaigning experience but you might have thought it was better to put the "best and the brightest" into the seats where we need to win instead of the ones that we already have?

Anyway, old codgers such as Nick Winterton, Douglas Hogg and Peter Viggers have said that they are ready to stand again, and again, and again.

I am (quelle surprise) no fan of the A-List but I do rather want it to work, if only because I believe Cameron when we says that he wants the party to change. These MPs are rather a spoke in the A-List wheel.

I wonder, at the end of this parliamentary session of selections, how many people will have failed to be selected (or elected) despite being on the A-List? A lot more if CCHQ don't find some way around the Tory codgers department!


Anonymous said...

Personally, A listers should not expect veterans to give way. Veterans constituents do not wish a cukoo A lister parachuted in. A listers should earn their seats and fight against Labour and Lib Dems to gain their conservative majority, to have any credibility in the party and to cut their teeth, just as I remember you Antony did last time against Charles Clarke. If A listers are so talented they should win.

Praguetory said...

It's not a plot. These people are being begged to stay on. Antony, you are quite right to say that the A listers should be trying to fight the seats we need to win. Personally, I think an apprenticeship in a difficult-to-win seat is a necessary rights of passage. Commitment to the cause is the number one quality I look for in a Tory MP. So, if for example, Adam Rickett had a go at a Manchester seat next time instead of fishing for a safe Southern seat, he'd build up a lot more credit.

Antony said...

Totally agree Prague Tory - Manchester Central this time and then a nice plum seat next time. And he would grow in stature with the party for doing so.